Rookie doctors can work up to 24 hours straight under new work limits taking effect this summer — a move supporters say will enhance training and foes maintain will do just the opposite.
A Chicago-based group that establishes work standards for U.S. medical school graduates has voted to eliminate a 16-hour cap for first-year residents. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced the move Friday as part of revisions that include reinstating the longer limit for rookies — the same maximum allowed for advanced residents.
An 80-hour per week limit for residents at all levels remains in place under the new rules.
Dr. Anai Kothari, a third-year resident on a council panel that recommended the changes, says he only occasionally works 24-hour shifts. The extra hours give him time to finish up with patients instead of being sent home in the middle of a case, said Kothari, who works at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago.
This is completely insane, and will cause medical accidents, if not deaths; this practice is morally irresponsible in the extreme.